Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 19, 2019
Dave Weatherill hosted Nuri Fisher, owner & CEO of Piscine Energetics (PE), a local “boutique” company which harvests, flash-freezes, packages & sells Mysis Shrimp, from Okanagan Lake, to feed fresh & saltwater fish in aquariums.  In the late 1960’s, our provincial government attempted to remedy seriously dwindling Okanagan Lake stocks of Kokanee salmon, by introducing Mysis Shrimp.  Unfortunately, the Kokanee couldn’t feed on shrimp that spent their days in deep, cool water, ascending nearer the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton – the Kokanees main source of food – so the introduction of the shrimp exacerbated Kokanee losses.  PE has developed trawling technologies to capture shrimp at night, ridding the lake of over-abundant “invasive” shrimp, & giving young Kokanee a renewed opportunity to prosper.  Their slow-moving small mesh nets, combined with a vacuum tube to a “catch boat,” is able to separate shrimp from other species.  BC’s Ministry of Environment sees this as a win-win situation, & is encouraging PE to expand their operation.  Mysis Shrimp provides excellent nutrition to young fish, but is not considered a viable competitor to those who sell fish food to more mature stock.  Over time, if stocks of Kokanee salmon in Okanagan Lake return to previous levels, a recreational fishing industry could be restored.  Our lake is the only one without a viable sport fishery, especially in relation to the size of our lake & population.